By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte is pointing out fingers to informal settlers for deforestation.
Poor farm families cut down trees to use for home construction, Duterte said in a late-night televised address Tuesday.
“‘Yung average Pilipino, they cannot afford a concrete house. So halos lahat diyan… let us use the word as being understood by all, ‘yung mga squatters puro kahoy ‘yan. Bibili ‘yan including coconut wood,” he explained.
“Ang problema niyan sa bukid, talagang magpuputol ‘yon ng kahoy because ang mga Filipino ‘yan lang ang… Eh saan man sila magkuha ng semento? Where do they cut the trees? In Canada? O pupunta pa sila doon sa South America o Africa?” he furthered.
Duterte said he is in a quandary on how to address illegal logging.
“Sabihin mo na you want to help, eh ‘di mag-semento tayo. I don’t know if that is really feasible or viable, if you may, kasi mahal. Itong kahoy lang na binibili ng mga squatters pati ‘yung talagang walang titulo at they look for a place, squatting on some others’ property.”
On Sunday, Duterte ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to investigate the illegal mining and logging activities in Cagayan Valley, after some areas in the region were submerged due to heavy rains brought by typhoon “Ulysses.”